Friday 18/08/2017

UPND needs some cleaning up

Dear editor,
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has a lot of cleaning up to do in the party. He needs to root out the corrupt elements who continue to give the party a bad name.
A lot indeed needs to be done to convince Zambians that UPND is indeed different from the PF and that it will deliver development once voted into power. A lot of people in the rank and file of the party are corrupt. And, it’s unfortunate that a lot of such corrupt elements have been condoned by the leadership.
Should the party form government, such corrupt elements should not be anywhere near the echelons of power as they will prove to be more corrupt than the present administration.
I say this in light of the recent adoption for the position of council chair for some constituency where some corrupt officials accepted hefty amounts of money  from some prospective candidates and gave those individuals the adoption despite being very unpopular and unwanted by the people on the ground.
What was more worrying is that some senior members of the party paid a blind eye to such corruption and allowed these corrupt officials to do as they please and have their way. Why should some greedy people be allowed to use the party as a cash cow? Such conduct will make the party’s dream of forming government more distant.
I urge the party president to take an interest in what is happening and take a lead in erradication the cancer of corruption in the party. Zambians have placed their hope in the UPND. Why should that trust be betrayed.
Politics is about letting the people govern. When people choose a leader at any level, the party’s duty is verifying that decision and endorsing it. Placing corrupt leaders into office only serves to weaken the party. This is because the leaders who come through corruption will use their positions for personal gain and not serve the people. What image does such conduct portray of the party?
Mutumwa Mweetwa

There’s need to change land policy

Dear editor,
The current land policy needs review. We cannot allow a situation where land, a primary resource and the basic right of every Zambian is slowly slipping into the hands of foreigners and parastatals.
Land, being a fixed asset is limited. It is important to secure it and keep it for Zambians. It is a resource that must be secured not only for the present generation but for future ones as well. Future generations will not be able to forgive the injustice of squandering their inheritance.
We should learn from countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe where land is concentrated in the hands of a few rich people.
Zimbabwe had to employ some draconian and unorthodox means to reclaim some of its land. As a country, we need a land policy that safeguards the  interests of the locals.
At the rate we are going, entire villages will be lost to foreigners and foreign entities.
The earlier such a policy is drafted, the better. The rate at which land is getting into foreign hands is very high. That needs to stop. Zambians must come first in all this. Already the prices of land are beyong the affordability of many Zambians.
Every Zambian should be accorded the opportunity to own land.
Loveness Muyovwe


Stem that corruption

Dear editor,
The reports of corruption in the UPND regarding adoptions are indeed unfortunate. Such corruption robs the people of their choice and imposes leaders on them whom they do not want.
It is important that the party quickly resolves that corruption problems and deals with the corrupt to avoid problems now and in te future.Corruption and unfairness have far-reaching consequences.

Stop crackdown
on opposition

Dear editor,
Zambia’s democracy indeed needs redemption. The vicious crackdown on the opposition by those in government is detrimental to democracy and speaks of intolerance and heavy-handedness, both of which are attributes of dictatorship.
For the current leadership to shake off the tag of dictatorshiop, a lot indeed needs to be done. They should be tolerant to divergent views and allow the opposition to operate freely. As things stand, the poltical space for the opposition has been diminishing with a lot of opposition members facing one criminal charge or the other.
Forner Lusaka Province minister Obvious Mwaliteta spent a year in prison for a crime that could not hold. everyone knew Mwaliteta could not possibly be convicted on the chages levelled against him. It’s a case everyone knew  would collapse.
Having a lot of such politically motivated cases on our courts of law just clogs the syste. It just gives the judiciary unnecessary work.
Given our highly congested prisons, we cannot afford to keep loading them with political prisoners.
The other thing that the the leadership needs to do to clear the tag of dictatorship is to review its relationship with independent media.. Criticism is not enmity. To be criticised is normal in a democracy.
President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has demonstrated how tolerant a leader should be. Zuma has been called all sorts of names by the South African media and opposion, but he has not gotten anyone arrested for defamtion of the President. Zuma was at one time called a ‘dunderhead’ by opposition EFF leader Julius Malema but he never got Malema arrested for it. Malema is still free to carry on with his politics.
If the current leaders can create a conducive political environment for the opposition, they will earn a lot of respect even from their own political adversaries.
Natendwa Mwila


Treason charges against Hichilema fail to hold

Dear editor,
From the outset, the treason charges against HH were known to have been maliciously concocted and ordered by the disciples of the ‘alpha and omega!’ There have been numerous speculations and innuendoes surrounding the whole case. The intentions were well known and calculated – to extract a pound of flesh from HH! How can dim-wits, the proxies of the powers that be, order the arrest of such a personality – leader of the biggest opposition in Zambia and dictate what charges should be leveled against him! This is laughable and dangerous. They are tell tale signs of immaturity and mediocrity which doesn’t meet the basic legal standards and let alone basic human sensitivities!
How does one explain the recent strings of loses of numerous cases against opposition members? They have lost the HH case via a nolle prosequi.They lost GBM’s case, Savior Chishimba and Hon Mwaliteta within a week? Doesn’t that loudly speak to sheer malice, incompetence and disregard for human rights as enshrined in the constitution by the police and their masters.
These politicians must be on the leash before they ruin Zambia’s reputation as an oasis of peace in the region.
Yeah, it’s a well known fact that the security machinery is being abused.
But let us reflect on the expense government incurred in its futile attempt to crash the opposition, independent media, NGOs and some  political activists. The cost of just arresting HH by use of police, security and bounty hunters and flying him must be in millions of kwacha! Flying foreign dignitaries such as former Nigerian President Obasanjo and the Commonwealth Baroness Scotland to and from Kabwe Maximum Prison to engage HH must be staggering when it’s all added up. This expense is incurred with the full knowledge that HH is innocent but just for PF to flex its muscles and send the message that this is what is in store for anyone who presents divergent political views and that they are in charge of government. Is it worth it? You, the Zambian be the ultimate judges on this one! Meanwhile the country is seriously cash-strapped! Lots of social programmes have stalled and here are our leaders using taxpayers’ money to mess up opposition members on baseless cases.
How about the human toll that these innocent Zambians have suffered? Their health will never be the same! The physical and mental suffering is unquantifiable – they will bear these political scars for life. Yes HH and his co-accused may be made of iron; but even iron succumbs to rust! The honest question is:- do the perpetrators/tormentors sleep at night without feeling  guilty of persecuting innocent souls? Can they really sleep soundly without excessive alcohol intake?
Only God can truthfully answer this one. What lessons have we as Zambians learnt from this chilling episode about our leaders’ fitness to govern our nation – ZAMBIA?
Anyhow HH is free at last.  We must thank the interventions of tall those dignitaries both from within and abroad who helped to bring this about.
Alfred Chioza


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